If the weather is warm and the soil is free of over-moisture, snake plants will grow anywhere and literally everywhere. It doesn’t take much to understand how to care for a snake plant properly. For the most part, they are very sturdy, and if they can be cared a little for, they’ll grow big and beautiful in no time.
We’ll talk about how to take care of snake plants and the other relevant stuff you should know if you ever decide to keep these long-leaf plants. Surely, they’re a beauty and will be a charmer in your house.
Before Buying a Plant
Before you get your sansevieria, aka snake plant, there are a few things you should have in mind. Let’s talk you through those.
Although sansevieria plants are hardy and will try to live even if you give them nearly zero care, they will die if they don’t get the minimal nutrition they need to survive. Similarly, not all plants in your plant shop will be in good condition. Avoid buying ones that have lesser dark-colored leaves. They’re dying plants.
Look for dark, deep-colored leaves. It’s a sign that the plant is getting enough nutrients and water it needs. Buying a pale-leaved plant or a plant with stuttered growth won’t be a good idea. It’ll die quickly.
Planting Pot and Water Drainage System
Snake plants are a type of succulent plant like cactus. Succulent basically means a type of plant family with thick leaves and can retain water for a long time. You’ll find succulents in extremely dry areas, including deserts. However, they can be found in warm, humid, and well-watered regions as well.
Sansevieria is native to South Africa. Since the weather and soil condition is similar in some parts of the United States, these now grow rapidly in the humid areas across the country.
One of the major factors that decide whether a snake plant will flourish or wither is the water drainage system. This plant will retain water for several days once water and rewatering while the soil is still wet, or overwatering can decompose the root.
Try to get a pot with several holes in the bottom. Some people like to get a terra cotta or soil-based pot for planting these because these pots can help in easier water evaporation through the thousands of microscopic holes around its body.
Having holes to flush out excess water will help keep this plant alive, save its root and let the root get a solid foundation in the soil to have a strong base as the leaves grow large and heavy.
If possible, don’t use plain soil to fill the pot up since sansevieria has different water requirements than most plants. You can purchase any succulent or cactus potting mix for use as a base with your snake plant. These mixtures help drain the water easily and keep the soil free of excess dampness, which is necessary.
The pot mixture level should be shallow. Don’t fill the base high so that it covers much more area than the root. The deeper the soil, the higher the chances of the root getting damaged from stuck water.
How to Care for a Snake Plant
We’ve talked about what you should look for before getting a snake plant. Now let’s discuss how to take care of this plant.
Succulents have thick leaves and roots; it helps to store water for the plant’s survival. This is basically because of where the succulents are native to.
As we have said before, succulents grow mainly in dry areas where there’s hardly a good water source. There isn’t ample rain and any proper reservoir to get enough water on a regular basis for the plants.
Therefore, having thick, meaty leaves and roots help the plants to store water for some time before there is another rain or a water source is available.
Once you water your snake plant, give it some break before another watering session. Overwatering will only harm your plant and likely kill it.
Understanding when it’s time to rewater isn’t complicated at all. There are a few methods. The first and easiest way is to check the stem connected to the root of the plant. If the stem seems saturated with water, then wait a few more days before watering again.
Another simple yet effective way is to use a pencil to check the wetness in the soil. Take a pencil and push it through the soil a few inches deep. Then take the pencil out, and if it seems wet, then it’s a sign that there’s still enough moisture in the soil. It’s time to wait for a few more days.
There’s a misconception that snake plants and other succulents should be watered regularly as soon as the previous water is cleared in the pot. But this is wrong. These plants are designed to stay hydrated for some time and then dry for some time.
The main idea is to let the soil get try in between the watering sessions for the best results.
Snake plants can live in all different lighting conditions. In the wild, these plants grow in both sunny as well as dry, damp areas. They’re accustomed to handling a range of lighting and will survive in all conditions.
However, surviving and flourishing isn’t the same, and if you want to get your plant in the best condition, proper lighting management is necessary.
Try to keep your plant beside a window or anywhere where there’s enough indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight won’t kill a sansevieria but may damage its leaves’ coloration and natural texture. Better to avoid positioning the plant directly in front of sunlight.
However, if you’ve been keeping your plant in a shady area and want to change the position to a well-lit area, you should keep in mind two things. First of all, the change in lighting means a change in the average heat level too. Higher heat will dry off water sooner, so you should adjust the watering interval accordingly.
Another thing is the adaptation of the plant. Sudden lighting changes can put your plant under stress and should be avoided. Try to change its position slowly so that it has some time to adjust its internal mechanism to cope with the change. A drastic change is better to avoid for increasing the lifespan of the plant.
A common misconception is that snake plant’s leaves should be misted to keep them free from dirt. This is not right.
You can clean the dirt off of the leaves with a cloth, or even if you decide to mist them, clean the leaves dry with a dry cloth. Don’t let excess water stay on the leaves, or they can get over-soaked and grow fungus.
Now you’ve got some ideas on how to care for a snake plant and what to look for before planting one. If you can maintain the fundamental necessities of your sansevieria and avoid overwatering it, this plant can last for years without breaking a sweat.